Team set to compete in 2019 Winter World University Games
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The 22-player roster for the U.S. Men’s National University Team that will compete in the 2019 Winter World University Games from March 1-9 in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, was announced today by USA Hockey. The roster includes Illinois’ Joe Kinsella (Naperville/University of Colorado), Zach Mitchell (Chicago/Lindenwood University) and Tyler Opilka (Effingham/University of Illinois). Forest Park native and head coach for the University of Illinois men’s team, Nick Fabbrini will serve as an assistant coach.
“This group has a lot of talent and character,” said Roger Grillo (North Kingstown, R.I.), head coach of the 2019 U.S. Men’s National University Team. “We’re really excited to get over to Russia and represent the United States with pride at the Winter World University Games.”
The complete roster, which includes two goaltenders, seven defensemen and 13 forwards, is comprised of players that compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association and American Collegiate Hockey Association.
The group is highlighted by two returnees from the 2017 U.S. Men’s National University Team, including defensemen Tyler Opilka (Effingham, Ill./University of Illinois) and Austin Wilk (Camarillo, Calif./Lindenwood University).
Among the newcomers is forward Anthony Cusanelli (Holmdel, N.J./University of Arizona), the reigning ACHA Rookie of the Year, who finished his freshman season with 51 points (31 goals, 20 assists) in 28 games. The forward was also selected to the All-Rookie Team along with goaltender Cooper Seedott (Northville, Mich./Lindenwood University), who is also making his Team USA debut.
More players making their debuts for Team USA include seven players with NCAA Division I experience in goaltender Kristian Oldham (Anchorage, Alaska/Clarkson University), defenseman Ben Newhouse (Edina, Minn./Northern Michigan University) and forwards Gage Mackie (Anchorage, Alaska/Arizona State University), Jake Pappalardo (Salem, N.H./College of the Holy Cross), Ty Pelton-Byce (Madison, Wis./University of Wisconsin), Sam Rennaker (Grand Rapids, Mich./University of Maine) and Jack Rowe (Cary, Ind./Arizona State University).
The U.S. squad contains six players out of Lindenwood University (Saint Charles, Mo.), which holds a record of 20-2-0-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L) this season. Defenseman Jake Townsend (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) leads the team with 39 points (13 goals, 26 assists) and is joined by teammates Ryan Finnegan (Tecumseh, Kansas), Zack Mitchell (Chicago, Ill.), Brendan Murphy (St. Peters, Mo.) and the aforementioned Seedott and Wilk.
Team USA opens the tournament in Krasnoyarsk against the Czech Republic on Friday, March 1, at 4:00 a.m. ET.
NOTES: Fourteen different states are represented on the roster, led by Illinois and Michigan, each with three representatives, while Alaska, California, Missouri and New Jersey each have two … The 22 players represent 14 different schools. Lindenwood University leads the way with its six representatives on the team, while Arizona State University, Ohio University and University of Colorado each have two … Ashley Bevan (Colorado Springs, Colo.), USA Hockey’s senior director of adult hockey, is serving as team leader of the 2019 U.S. Men’s National University Team … Grillo, a regional manager for USA Hockey’s American Development Model, is serving as head coach of the 2019 U.S. Men’s National University Team alongside assistant coaches Nick Fabbrini (Forest Park, Ill.) and Eric Ballard (Grand Rapids, Minn.). Fabbrini also served as an assistant coach at the 2017 tournament in Almaty, Kazakhstan … The United States is fielding a men’s hockey team at the Winter World University Games for the 10th straight time … At the 2019 Winter World University Games, Team USA is competing in Group A alongside the Czech Republic, Hungary, Japan, Russia and Slovakia. All games will be played at Crystal Ice Arena … For complete coverage of the U.S. at the 2019 Winter World University Games, click here.
For more information, contact Chris Krenn (Chris.Krenn@usahockey.org/719.538.1172).
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